Zanzibar. Civic United Front (CUF) has ruled out the possibility of conducting fresh elections in Zanzibar, insisting that the announcement to annul them should be re-called.
Addressing a news conference in Zanzibar yesterday, Zanzibar presidential candidate Seif Sharif Hamad, who is also secretary general of the party, called for resumption of the final tallying of votes and announcement of the winner.
Earlier, Mr Hamad had asked presidents Jakaya Kikwete and Ali Mohamed Shein to take the responsibility of leadership in the few remaining days of their administrations by observing constitutions and laws of the land.
He told reporters at his Mtendeni office that the two presidents were supposed to respect the decisions made on October 25 by the Zanzibaris, calling upon them to cooperate with him in serving Zanzibar.
The Isles plunged into a political crisis on Wednesday following the unprecedented decision by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman Jecha Salum Jecha to cancel the Isles elections, citing irregularities and breach of the Constitution.
The move has been greeted with condemnation from international election observers and other stakeholders who called on the commission’s chairman to reverse his decision and continue to announce the results.
“I sincerely call upon President Kikwete and President Shein to avoid using excessive force and instead cooperate in maintaining peace and protecting the rights of the people.
He added, “I’m ready to cooperate with them as I have been doing all the time. We need to cooperate to save Zanzibar and Tanzania from the international disgrace,” Mr Hamad said.
Maalim Seif said the cancellation of the election was a unilateral and a personal statement by ZEC chairman Jecha Salum Jecha.
Two ZEC commissioners from CUF have stated that Jecha made the cancellation statement without consulting other commissioners as the law requires.
“There was no meeting that endorsed Jecha’s statement for there was no constitutional and legal ground for that statement,” he insisted.
Yesterday, Mr Hamad called upon CUF supporters and members and Zanzibaris in general to remain calm as all possible avenue were being explored to avert chaos.
Meanwhile, the situation in Zanzibar was slowly returning to normalcy after three days of a tense situation and threats following annulment of the election.
Speaking to the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Mjini Magharibi Regional Police Commander Mkadam Khamis Mkadam urged the people to continue with their normal daily activities without fear while the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) assuring them of their security.
Some traders have now opened their shops after closing them for three consecutive days for fear of insecurity that threatened different parts of Zanzibar.
At the Darajani business hub, where hundreds of residents of Unguja normally gather for shopping and purchasing other necessities, people were seen moving around and shops opened after the area was deserted for three days.